By now, you probably know about the host of health benefits associated with adding more plant based meals into your diet. But whether it’s a choice to simply incorporate more plant based meals, or you’re looking to move towards 100% plant based eating, we know it can be hard to get your spouse and/or kids onboard the plant based train. That’s why we have compiled this list of ways to get your family eating and enjoying more plant based meals.
1. Start with Small Steps
You can’t expect your kids to go from smashing Hot Dogs or Mac N’ Cheese at dinner time to adapting an immediate love for all things plant based in one day (or even one week!). Instead, start slow with “Meatless Monday” or having them try a few vegan snacks, or try broccoli nuggets to replace their chicken nuggets. This will let them start to recognize that the plant based versions of their favorite snacks can be equally delicious—with added health benefits to grow strong!
2. Plant Based Comfort Foods
Like most things in life, it’s a good idea to ease your family into the idea eating plant based meals on a regular basis. You can do this by adapting some of their favorite comfort foods like Mac N’ Cheese, Pizza, Tacos, and Burgers to be plant based. You can buy the vegan variations at your local grocery store or make them yourself, or you can look at some of the amazing online options out there like The Very Good Butchers (don’t worry, they’re Bean Butchers!) for all your plant based comfort food favorites.
3. Get the Family’s Help Making Plant Based Meals
Kids tend to enjoy things more when they had a hand in creating them. Get your plant based kids in the kitchen whipping up new recipes and variations with you. You can give each child a plant based side dish to work on, or have them help you with mixing and getting ingredients— depending on their age. Your kids will be so proud of their delicious creations that they won’t even think about the fact that they are plant based.
4. Make Grocery Shopping a Family Event
Take the family to the grocery store with you. This allows your kids (and hesitant spouse) to choose options for plant based meals that look good to them. Once they taste and love those options, they will be more open to trying more plant based foods. Feeling involved in the process is a good way to get most people to open up their mind (and mouth) to something new.
5. Pick a New Ingredient Every Week For Plant Based Meals
Turn your mission to create a more plant based family into a fun learning opportunity by presenting them with a new plant based ingredient every week to incorporate into mealtimes. You can even turn it into a “Chopped” style competition. For example, give your kids cauliflower or butternut squash and challenge them to create a pizza or sandwich out of it. This is something that parents often love to get it on, too— challenge dad to fire up the grill and turn lame butternut squash into a delectable, grilled main course. The winner gets to choose a plant based dessert, while the losers have to do the dishes.
6. Connect with Other Plant Based Families
Your family members, especially the kids, will be far more inclined to get into a plant based lifestyle if they know their peers are enjoying plant based meals, too. Connect with plant based families through picnics, sports, school, and even Facebook groups that are created for plant based parents. Not only is this is a great way to meet new people, but you will also get some awesome ideas from other parents who are also on a quest to keep their kids healthy with a plant based meals.
7. Lead by Example
When all else fails, lead by example. Try to eat the majority of your plant based meals with your family, so you can encourage them to try a bite or explain the health benefits associated with what you’re eating. Your positive life changes influence others more than you may think, and your experience will likely make them more receptive and curious at the very least.
We hope these tips help you in your quest to adopt a more plant based lifestyle at home. As you try these tips, please snap a pic and share with us!
Senior Author & Chief Editor
Based in Tempe, AZ
I started writing in college and am thankful to have turned it into a growing career. I love to create and share content that hits home for me, and hopefully helps others at home. I’m the proud mom of 2 beautiful boys, and a gorgeous baby girl.
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